Reading the latest issue of INC. magazine where they profiled and celebrated the 500 fastest growing private companies, I came to realization that the messages conveyed over and over again can be/should be applied to education. I know as educators we are not companies striving to make money, but we are teams of people striving to changed education to be the most benefit and create the highest yield of return of students learning in our classrooms.
We are of the very few who work hours and hours beyond our work day because there is always more work to be done. We are constantly being pulled in several directions, needing to do more each year, and often times we sit(when we have five minutes) and question how much longer we can sustain.
I believe that educators work harder than almost anyone on earth. However, I do believe we can work more efficiently and effectively if we could just break through the mindset of always doing what has been done.
One of the key takeaways from the magazine was the idea that we cannot rest on our laurels for too long. There are times when we do great things. Amazing things happen. We start to gain a reputation for certain things. This helps us mentally survive this job, but we cannot become stagnate. We must push our own boundaries. We must embrace the next area of unknown and uncertainty. We must continue to push forward to become better. New research shows that teachers can continue to improve and don’t become flatlined after their first 3-5 years like previously thought(DUH!)
What we need are leaders among the teacher ranks. Teachers who share. Teachers who continue to inspire others. This is where I believe the key to growth is vital. Yes, we need strong admin leadership, but at the end of the day admin will not make everyone happy(it really is a thankless job and one I would never want). The strength comes from the teachers. If we can continue to support one another in positive ways, share our own learning, and collectively as teams of professionals improve ourselves, then we will make some amazing learning opportunities come to life.
By doing this we can embrace new possibilities. This prevents us from pointing fingers at others. This places the responsibilities on our own shoulders. We cannot complain because we are in the drivers seat. Really, the things we strive for in our students should be the same things we strive for as educators.
Let’s go make it happen!